Paul L. Caron

Monday, February 3, 2014

The Ascendancy of the Agile Attorney

Legal RebelsABA Journal Legal Rebels:  The Agile Lawyer Will Rise as Permanent, Full-Time, Salaried Employment Vanishes, by Jordan Furlong:

Lawyer jobs are disappearing. Every day, law firms across the country reduce their ranks of associates and partners, removing more and more table settings as their revenue pie keeps shrinking. Over the past few years, only about 55 percent of law school graduates have been finding full-time, law-related work nine months after graduation. Would-be lawyers have taken the hint, and first-year enrollment in U.S. law schools has dropped to its lowest level since the 1970s.

Is this the end of lawyers? Hardly. (And that’s not really what Richard Susskind was saying, anyway.) But I do think we’re seeing the probably irreversible decline of the traditional “lawyer job,” which performs a range of tasks with defined responsibilities in a single location during specified hours at an agreed salary. In its place, we should expect to see the rise of agile “lawyer employment”—the multidimensional, customized application of a lawyer’s skills and talents to provide client value when and where it’s required. ...

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